"My first co-designer introduced me to Swarovski, and I fell in love with the brilliance and quality of the products—they are exceptionally beautiful!"
Québec-born actress-turned-designer Caroline Néron is known for her roles in movies such as Days of Darkness and Eternal, and TV series Diva and Réseaux. These days, however, the glamorous Canadian presides over her own successful empire of boho-chic jewelry and accessories. Eleven years after her brand’s humble beginnings, Caroline employs 200 staff and has garnered shelf-loads of awards for business achievement and philanthropy. Here’s how it all started:
On the big switch from acting to designing
Acting has been my passion since I was five, yes, but I’m also always creating, and I wanted to start my own company to ensure my future. At the moment, I’m engaged in speaking at conferences about my business, so I’m still appearing on a stage—I’ve just changed the script!
On being in touch with her customers
I’m a good saleswoman. If you yourself aren’t convinced, you won’t convince anybody. You can’t rely on the fact that you’re ‘known’. People aren’t stupid—they want value, they need service, and they deserve a good product.
On staying ahead of the curve
I follow the trends like clockwork. For me, it’s imperative to try and stay slightly ahead of them in order to maintain an edge. I’m also proud of my essential pieces, which are timeless and can be worn with anything.
On the early days
I made everything myself in my kitchen and basement. As the business grew, I carried on manufacturing locally. But once I opened several boutiques, the demand was too high, so I’ve moved production to China.
On her love affair with crystal
When I started out I didn’t know anything about crystals or metals. My first co-designer introduced me to Swarovski, and I fell in love with the brilliance and quality of the products—they are exceptionally beautiful!
On going global
While Canada is our biggest turnover, recognition is growing in Europe, China and the Middle East. We are now in Kleinfeld Bridal Boutique in New York City, plus 10 locations in Paris, and over 80 points of sales, including 35 with Cadenzza.
On what lies around the corner
More accessories and more boutiques across Canada and the US. Mostly, I want to bring back my fashion shows to New York and Paris.